UK pop visionary, Charli XCX has released her fourth studio album made entirely in her LA home during quarantine.
The way that people are dealing with being in quarantine drastically differs, yet Charli XCX seized the opportunity to create a full-length album in a matter of weeks. The album, titled how I’m feeling now, is an ode to a quarantine love exploring the change between our old every day and the adjustment of our new normal.
Charli XCX began to tease the idea of the album on social media in early April. She then began holding Zoom parties with fans and tossed around the idea of creating an album solely made in quarantine. During the whole production of the album, Charli was extremely vocal about the process and conferred with fans about every detail, especially when it came to artwork for singles and eventually the cover itself. From the start, how I’m feeling now seemed like a collaboration between artist and fan.
Pink diamond is an explosive first track. The house influenced beat, that reoccurs on the album, is almost a shocking start. Charli’s layered vocals announcing the frustrations of quarantine – “I just want to go real hard” – make known the feel of the rest of the album. Halfway through the track a heavy guitar riff takes over reinforcing the frustration of being inside.
Unlike her 2019 album, Charli, how I’m feeling now is sparse in terms of collaborators. Producers such as Dijon, BJ Burton and Palmistry are noted on the album, but the lack of featured artists allows a focus, especially on the lyrics, which makes the album feel more intimate.
Despite the delicate lyrics of love, the overall feeling created by the house/electronic inspired beats gives a sense of dizziness that immerses a listener. Tracks such as 7 years and party 4 u feel relatable, a feeling that is common within the album, and builds a relationship to the way we lived before and how we do now.
Overall, the album seems like a saving grace for our current times. It almost feels like motivation for anyone struggling during quarantine. Charli XCX has been previously praised for her contributions to the advancement of the UK pop scene and how I’m feeling now only further proves the point that when it comes to pop music Charli XCX is a force to be reckoned with.
By Abbie Aitken
Listen to how I’m feeling now: